Tehran Summons UAE Ambassador over Isles Dispute
The United Arab Emirates ambassador to Iran was summoned to the foreign ministry this week and given a formal protest over Abu Dhabi's claims on three disputed Persian Gulf islands, the state IRNA news agency reported Saturday.
During the Thursday meeting, a ministry official rejected "all claims" by the UAE to the islands and reiterated Tehran's "availability for direct and unconditional negotiations" in order to remove the "misunderstanding."
The Emirati news agency WAM reported that a UAE delegation now in Cuba for a meeting of international parliamentary delegations would press Abu Dhabi's claims to Abu Mussa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs.
On Thursday, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi rejected the Amman Arab summit's support for the UAE claim and reaffirmed Tehran's "eternal sovereignty" over the islands.
"The section in the Arab League's final communiqué on the islands is biased and partisan", Asefi said, affirming that the isles "have always been Iranian and will always be an integral part of Iranian territory and sovereignty".
Both Iran and the UAE have said they will never retract their claims to the strategic islands, which Iran has held since 1971 when Britain pulled out of the region – TEHRAN (AFP)
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